I recently saw a twit from user stephenlrose , allegedly a “Sr Community Mgr for Windows (IT Pros)” and asked him the question Openbytes has been asking for many months and never recieved a proper reply. As readers here have seen, many of the Microsoft supporters that I’ve had discourse with are rude and insulting (IMO) and take great exception to Microsoft products being challenged and/or alternatives being suggested.
With that in mind, it appears I have messaged someone in a position of some authority within Microsoft, so I knew that the childish antics of others would be absent. I’m happy to say that so far, this is the case.
The question I put to Mr Rose was:
“…….. what exactly is the incentive for users to upgrade XP to 7? Is it purely gfx? I would honestly like to know what feature 7 offers that cant be done either natively or via 3rd party software in XP.”
And Mr Rose kindly responded with:
“DirectAccess/BranchCache/BitLocker to go with AD support/Federated Search. Visit www.talkingaboutwindows.com for IT pro interviews on why Win 7.”
Right, firstly the site runs off Silverlight so it is useless to me. I don’t want to bring up the comments/feelings on that particular product since we’ve been there before and the last thing I want is Mr Rose having a justification to ignore on the basis of a “trolling/flaming/cyber bullying” claim. I’m not for one minute suggesting that Mr Rose would choose this avenue, but since its been a common theme with difficult questions before (in respect of other people) I decided to be very “gentle”
So lets look at the first part of his answer. I am going to try to keep this as simple as possible and there are reasons for this. I believe these type of answers are what convinces the “average user” that Windows is the only platform to consider. In my opinion an average user sees a fancy name they cant understand and presumes its important/unique, ergo they must have that product over all others.
This is simply a disk encryption tool. You can encrypt the contents (or even a whole) drive. That is it. There are plenty of 3rd party alternatives available. Some free, some not. This is not a feature that is “unique” to 7 since you can do it in XP (albeit by 3rd party software). PGP is one such package that has built a very good reputation with this type of software.
From the Microsoft site, I quote “DirectAccess is a new feature in the Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating systems that gives users the experience of being seamlessly connected to their corporate network any time they have Internet access.” Basically (unless Im totally wrong here) You can go home and access your work machines/system/software from there (or any other location with Internet access). Well, as much as I am blown away with that feature, again, its something that can be achieved with 3rd party software.
Without going on, I’ll simply link you to the webpage in regards to Branchcache (sounds fancy doesnt it) and you can decide for yourself if these are features you need, want or are truely “unique” to 7 which make it a must have purchase.
The reason for this article? I am aware that there are users who will never move from the Windows O/S. Thats fine, the one thing (I would hope) most FOSS advocates would hold dear is the freedom of choice. The reason I ask this question is on behalf of the many XP users who dont want Vista and are reluctant to move from XP to 7. I am sure many people would like to know why they have to upgrade their beloved XP and what exactly is the amazing feature Windows 7 offers that makes it a must have purchase.
As you can see so far, that question is far from answered. (IMO)
I sincerely hope Mr Rose will come here and respond properly. I would hope he at least tries to keep it as simple as possible, since many of my readers have no knowledge or interest in the “tech side” of computing. Im sure the happy XP users would much rather purchase a 3rd party package for a feature they needed, rather than upgrade their entire OS, or maybe I’m wrong?
I ask again, what feature does 7 offer that cannot already be achieved either natively or via 3rd party software in XP?
Here’s continuing in the quest to find out what exactly is the “treasure” contained within Windows 7.
In the meantime if you want to check out Mr Rose’s blog, you can find it here:
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org